Dato Seri Michelle Yeoh, Anlene Ambassador and bone health advocate, today opened the International Osteoporosis Foundation’s 3rd Asia Pacific Osteoporosis Meeting in Kuala Lumpur by urging Malaysians to take action to look after their bone health.
Dato Seri Michelle Yeoh voiced concern that Malaysians are not doing enough to look after their bones following the unveiling of new survey results at today’s event.
This survey, commissioned by Fonterra, revealed that 32 per cent of Malaysians surveyed are not consuming calcium-rich foods on daily basis and more than two thirds are not getting enough exercise, putting them at risk of osteoporosis and other bone-related diseases.
It further highlighted that one third of the people surveyed did not know where they could obtain vitamin D – an essential nutrient for healthy bones.
Speaking on the results Leading Orthopedic and Trauma consultant, Dr. Chin Chee Howe said it is clear that there needs to be more education on bone health and osteoporosis in Malaysia.
“A balanced diet, rich in calcium, protein and vitamin D, as well as regular weight-bearing exercise is needed to maintain bone health. It is very concerning to see such a large number of Malaysians are not getting the nutrition and exercise they need.
“Our bone mass peaks at about 30 years old. When we reach this age, without adequate nutrition and regular exercise, bones can start to become more brittle which can lead to osteoporosis – a debilitating disease that results in bone fractures which can severely limit mobility,” he said.
Speaking at today’s event, Dato Seri Michelle Yeoh called on all Malaysians to take three essential steps for better bone health.
“Bone health is something that I believe in and take very seriously. As an actor, the demands on my time, body and mind can be very challenging. This is why I pay particular attention to my calcium and vitamin D intake and make sure that I make time to get enough weight-bearing exercise every day.
“I urge all Malaysians to do the same – make sure you get enough calcium, vitamin D and exercise today to ensure you have strong bones tomorrow,” she said.
International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) Chief Executive Officer Judy Stenmark said that Osteoporosis is a major health problem across Asia and the low calcium and vitamin D intake levels, are among the key contributing factors.
“More needs to be done to raise awareness of this disease throughout Asia,” she said.
“The incidence of hip fracture has already risen 2- to 3-fold in most Asian countries during the past 30 years and we expect that by 2050 more than 50 per cent of all osteoporotic hip fractures will occur in Asia. In addition, IOF experts have identified low levels of calcium intake and inadequate vitamin D throughout the region. This has serious implications for the region’s bone health, now and in the future.”
The IOF Regional Asia-Pacific Osteoporosis Meeting, which is being held from December 13 to 16 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, is the region’s largest medical congress devoted to osteoporosis and bone-related diseases. More than 1000 medical doctors and researchers will attend in order to learn the latest strategies in the prevention and treatment of the diseases.
Dato Seri Michelle Yeoh concluded: “I am proud to be able to open the third annual Asia-Pacific Osteoporosis Meeting to help raise awareness about bone health and the simple lifestyle and nutrition habits people can adopt to help them to reduce the risk of developing diseases such as osteoporosis.”